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Surprisingly Small Things That Help Your House Sell

small things that help your house sellWhen it comes to selling your home in Florida, the small details can make the difference between a quick sale and a home that stalls on the market. Here at Century 21 Indian River Realty, we’ve got you covered with tips that will help your house sell!

We understand the process of selling your home can be overwhelming. From the emotional impacts to open house schedules and negotiations, it’s easy to see how the smaller things get overlooked.

Tips to Help Your House Sell

To help you attract a wider range of serious buyers, here are some surprisingly small things that help your house sell!

Declutter Your Home

One of the first things you’ll hear is ‘declutter’ when selling your home. Of course, you don’t want your home to be cold and impersonal, but you’ll want to create a pleasing aesthetic that allows potential buyers to envision life in your home. Common areas that make a huge impact include:

  • Tabletops
  • Counters
  • Fireplace mantels
  • Laundry rooms
  • Closets

Dinner at the Table

Staging also ranks high on our list of things that help your house sell. Break out the special dinnerware and linens to paint a picture for potential buyers to envision family dinners at the table.

Adding a centerpiece of fresh flowers can also help to warm up the space and create an inviting and welcoming atmosphere. Greenery, houseplants, and bowls of fresh produce placed around your home are great inexpensive accessories that brighten up a room and help your house sell.  

Learn more about the benefits of home staging in our article Home Staging: Does it Make a Difference?

Don’t Forget the Cookies!

Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked cookies? Before each showing, throw a batch of cookies in the oven. This not only acts as a natural deodorizer, it creates that warm inviting feel that buyers will remember.

A Proper Welcome Helps Your House Sell

One of the most overlooked things that can help your house sell is your doormat. Skip the quirky humor and opt for an attractive neutral look that compliments your home. This will send the subtle message that your home has been well taken care of over the years.  

Make a Great First Impression

Your home’s exterior plays a huge role in first impressions. Be sure to trim overgrown landscaping, rid the gardens of weeds, and pressure wash your home and outdoor surfaces. This will give your home a clean, well-maintained look that buyers simply can’t ignore.

Our goal at Century 21 Indian River Realty is to help you sell your home quickly at the highest price. Our professional staff is dedicated to personal service and lasting relationships with our clients. We are here to help you with quality real estate services in and around Melbourne, Indialantic and all of Brevard County Florida. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced agents.

Prepare to Buy a House Before Applying for a Loan: Here’s How and Why

Prepare to Buy a House Before Applying for a LoanScrolling through social media your eye spots the perfect house, it’s in a great a location and fits your ideal space requirements. You may want to jump ahead to take a closer look and schedule a viewing with your realtor, but it’s recommended to go through the mortgage pre-approval process before you fall in love with a home that won’t fit your budget. This is great advice, but did you know there are also actions to take before you contact your bank?

By doing a few things before submitting your bank application you can avoid surprises such as high-interest rates or a declined application.

Here How and Why to Prepare to Buy a House Before Applying for a Loan

Check Your Credit Score

You’ve likely seen the commercials about how easy it is to check your credit score these days. It’s important to know what your score is because it is one of the main things banks will look at to determine if you are eligible for a home loan. It also affects the interest rate offered.

Credit reports aren’t always accurate.  A Federal Trade Commission report in 1993 found that 2.2% of credit reports have errors. The chances are low, but a mistake could be costly if left unresolved because you could have higher credit score attached to your name. By knowing what your credit score is you can deal with surprises.

Paying down your debt, starting with credit card debt, is the best way to raise your credit score and help ensure the lowest interest rate available.

Develop a Reasonable Budget

Home improvements or emergency repairs, car upkeep, and medical bills are things we all deal with eventually. Having a good idea of monthly expenses as well as long-term goals, including your new mortgage payment, will help save you from financial stress later.

A reasonable budget will also give you a good idea whether you should apply for a 15 or 30-year mortgage and how long you will need to save for your down payment.

Build Up Your Down Payment

The larger your down payment, the more buying power you will have going into negotiations. By having 20% of the sale price available to put down at closing, you will avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) which adds 1-2% on average to the cost of the loan.

There are other benefits to having a large down payment built up. Closing costs, home inspections, and realtor fees are upfront costs that the home buyer contributes to or pays in total. Once you’ve saved your down payment, your additional savings will help to pay upfront costs or give you the flexibility to make changes to your new home.  

Do Your Research

When buying a house people often consider their current lifestyle as well as where they see themselves in the future. When searching for a specific area to settle into there are multiple factors to consider besides the cost of the home you like.

Is the area growing? What are the average taxes? How are the local schools? Are there current industrial building projects planned nearby? These are questions you might be able to answer with an online search, but an experienced realtor will know the answers to all the questions on your list as well as many you haven’t thought of yet.

At C21 Indian River, we prioritize our customer’s needs through the entire buying and selling process. Contact us and put our agent’s extensive knowledge of Brevard County, FL to use. We are committed to finding you your perfect home.

Downsizing: Tips for Buying a Smaller Home

Downsizing Tips for Buying a Smaller HomeMaking the decision to downsize your home, for any reason, can be a big one—we get it! Here at Century 21 Indian River Realty, we understand how stressful it can seem when you are buying a smaller home. Fortunately, downsizing doesn’t have to be a stressful process, and we are here to help. Here are some great tips for buying a smaller home

Downsizing Your Home

When buying a smaller home, it’s important to take your time and make a well-informed decision. Ask yourself what features to prioritize as you enjoy your new home over the coming years. As we age we often downsize our homes to simplify life. You may want to look for a home without stairs. You might also consider a walk-in tub or shower as opposed to a traditional full sized shower/tub option.

Understanding when is the right time to downsize your home is the first step, but no matter what the reason—there are a few things you should consider to help you downsize into the right home.

Find the Purpose in Things

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when downsizing is not purging items that are no longer needed. When you’re buying a smaller home, it becomes even more important to find a function or purpose for your possessions.  

Declutter Your Life

Buying a smaller home means living with less space for your things. Consider dividing things into three lists as you inventory the contents of your home:

  1. Must-have Things
  2. Things You Could Live Without
  3. Things You Can Replace

Obviously, your must-haves need to go with you to your new home. The items in your ‘Things you could live without’ list doesn’t necessarily mean you will; it just means these items would be the first thing to go if space becomes an issue.

Finally, the items on your ‘Things you could replace’ list would be things like your TV or furniture that you could replace with space-saving versions. 

Measure Everything

When downsizing homes, it is important to measure the space you are considering buying. The square footage only tells part of the story on living space. When it comes to your favorite possessions, you need to make sure they fit in the locations you picture using them.

For example, if you need to bring a large cabinet with you, you need to confirm the wall location it will rest in front of is long enough for the item and that no vents are present which the cabinet could block.

Consider Location

Downsizing your home shouldn’t mean inconveniencing yourself. You may want to make sure the location of your new home is close to stores or offices you will frequent. A realtor will be able to tell you about the surrounding area of the homes you are considering.

For over six decades, Century 21 Indian River Realty has served homeowners throughout Brevard County and the surrounding areas. If you would like to know more about downsizing or need an experienced Melbourne realtor to help you buy a smaller home, give us a call at 321-723-4747 or contact us online today!

5 Questions to Ask Your Melbourne, Florida Real Estate Agent

5 Questions to Ask Your Melbourne Florida Real Estate AgentYour home is one of the biggest investments you will make, so it’s common to have a lot of questions for your Melbourne, FL real estate agent, especially if you are new to the Space Coast area of Florida. Regardless of whether you are buying or selling, asking the right questions can help make your experience more enjoyable and less stressful.

Here are 5 questions to ask your Melbourne, FL real estate agent before signing a contract.

1. May I See Your References?

Everyone has certain personalities they mesh with more easily. When it comes to working with a realtor, it’s important to work with someone you feel comfortable with. It can be difficult to determine what it might be like to work with your potential agent day to day. Calling a few of the references provided can give you a better insight into previous clients’ experiences and how happy they were with their overall experience. 

2. Can You Provide a CMA for the Area?

comparative market analysisor comp, is a list of area homes that are currently on the market and those that have recently sold. This list can give you tons of important information, including:

  • What types of features are most popular to area buyers?
  • How long are homes similar to mine staying on the market?
  • What are homes with similar features to mine selling for?

3. Do You Work Individually or with a Team?

There really isn’t a right or wrong answer here, as there are pros and cons to both sides, so it really comes down to personal preference. Real estate teams are common and can come in many forms, from a pair of agents to a group of agents who work under one business name. 

If your Melbourne, FL real estate agent is part of a team, it is important to understand what aspects of work your agent will handle, and what may be given to other members of their team. If your agent works independently, you should ask about their current workload and make sure they will be available when needed. 

4. How Will the Marketing for My Home Be Handled? 

These days an agent needs to do more than simply put a For Sale sign in front of your home to catch the attention of potential buyers. Marketing should include an online presence and possibly open house dates. Your agent should be able to market your home to a wide range of potential homebuyers with a broad-ranged marketing plan. 

5. How Will You Keep Me Informed?

Great communication is imperative to your experience when buying or selling Melbourne, FL real estate. Understanding before the house is listed how your agent will keep you in the loop during this process is essential. 

Choosing the best real estate agent for your needs is a process that may take some time. Make sure to ask these five questions as well as any others you feel are vital to picking the right agent for you. At Century 21 Indian River our number one priority is providing our clients with unparalleled customer service combined with high-quality real estate services. Contact us online, or call (321) 723-4747 today to speak with a friendly professional for more information. Let’s work together to see how we can help you with all your Melbourne, FL realtor needs.

What Makes Melbourne, FL a Great Place to Live

What Makes Melbourne FL a Great Place to LiveMelbourne, Florida is – simply put – a great place to live. As one of the most populated metro areas on the Space Coast, residents here can’t get enough of the multitude of activities, historical sites, and other attractions that benefit the quality of life.

Benefits of Brevard County Living

 Florida does not require state income taxes to be paid and offers sales tax rates at 7% – lower than average. According to U.S. NewsMelbourne FL real estate prices are lower than the national average as well, ranking Melbourne as #49 on their list of 100 best places to live in the Unites States. There are many businesses who are establishing themselves in Brevard County making the city a great place for young professionals to buy.

Brevard County’s City of Melbourne offers a great place for people in all stages of life – from young adults looking for a place to start their lives to those raising a family and even those who are looking to retire.

Melbourne, FL offers fantastic schools for children of all ages – from preschool to college. There’s also plenty of activities and attractions to fill your days (and nights) with fun and excitement. For those who love the outdoors, you can enjoy camping, boating, fishing, scuba diving and surfing – just to name a few!

For space lovers- the Kennedy Space Center is just a short drive from Melbourne – and for adventure lovers – Disney Land, Sea World, and Bush Gardens Tampa are a short distance from Melbourne.

Find the Home of Your Dreams in Melbourne FL

 Melbourne, FL is a great place to live. Residents of all ages will find a variety of activities, historical sites, and attractions for both enrichment and enjoyment. Our number one priority at 21C Indian River Realty is providing our clients with unparalleled customer service combined with high-quality real estate services. Contact us online, or call (321) 723-4747 today to speak with a friendly professional for more information. Let’s work together to see how we can help you with all your Melbourne, FL Realtor needs.

First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid

first-time homebuyer mistakes

Becoming a first-time homebuyer is a huge step. Oftentimes, people find themselves overwhelmed with the entire process. Of course, buying your first home is a huge investment, so you want to make sure to get it right. To help you along the path to your first home, here are 5 of the most common first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid. 

  1. Not Knowing Your Real Budget

Knowing what your budget can handle and what the bank says your budget can handle on paper are two different things. To figure out your budget, make a list. This should include your monthly expenses like:

  • Groceries
  • Vehicle Costs
  • Credit Card/Student Loan Payments
  • Health Insurance
  • Retirement Contributions

Don’t forget to include monthly home maintenance expenses such as water and electric bills, as well as yearly expenses like premiums for insurance and annual vacations. Once you have a number, subtract your take-home pay from this, and you’ll know exactly what you should be spending each month.

  1. Inspection Neglection

Knowing what shape your prospective new home is in will keep you from spending tons on unexpected repairs. Don’t neglect to have the home professionally inspected to get a complete picture. This can prevent the first-time homebuyer from making a serious financial misstep. 

  1. Not Thinking Ahead

It’s easy to get lost in the details when buying your first home. But failing to consider additional expenses that are inevitable can lead to misfortune. Becoming a first-time homebuyer means that you will now be responsible for things like homeowner’s insurance and property taxes along with all the necessary repairs in the home. This can include expensive projects like replacing your roof or furnace. 

  1. Not Compromising

It’s important to know the difference between what you want and what you need in your new home. For first-time homebuyers, this can be a tricky situation to navigate. You want to get the most from your new home, but it’s important to understand the power of compromise. Being inflexible could lead to missing out on that perfect home, or renting longer than anticipated. 

  1. Not Using An Agent

No matter what, you should never walk into an open house without having an agent. Real Estate agents are held to ethical standards that insist they act in the best interest of both the buyer and seller. However, it’s a best practice have your own agent before you start dealing with the seller’s agent. Your agent will know your needs and will help you negotiate the best offer.

Located in Brevard County Florida, our qualified agents are ready to help you find a great house and help you avoid any of these first-time homebuyer mistakes. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Home Staging: Does it Make a Difference?

home stagingFor many homeowners, the process of selling a home can be a bit overwhelming. The competition for buyers can certainly run deep. So, having an advantage can make a significant difference. To help you gain an edge in the seller’s market, home staging should definitely be a consideration.

Discover the Difference

According to the Real Estate Staging Association, “homes which are staged before going on the market sell 73% faster, on average, than their non-staged counterparts.” (Source: Home staging is one of the best marketing tools you can use when selling a home, no matter what the market looks like. Real estate staging helps potential buyers to visualize all the possibilities. Sellers will benefit with quicker sales and top-dollar offers.

The cost for real estate staging shouldn’t be discouraging. This cost should be considered as an investment that will return with the sale of your home. Buyers can sometimes have a hard time visualizing how they can use the space. When you stage your real estate, buyers have a much stronger perception of value.

The Basics of Staging

Your staging will depend on whether your property is vacant or occupied. Occupied homes are generally easier to stage. Using what you already have is a great way to keep costs down. Let’s take a look at some valuable tips for staging an occupied home.

  • Reduce the clutter
  • Paint with neutral colors
  • Depersonalize the space
  • Reposition furniture and accent pieces for an updated look
  • Keep it clean

Staging a vacant or cluttered home is essential for maximum showability. When potential buyers view a vacant home, the focus is on the problems in the home. Rent a few key pieces of furniture and add a few plants or a fresh coat of paint. When they view a cluttered home it’s difficult to look past the personal collections and see the home’s potential. Staging helps buyers focus on the home’s good qualities and helps them to envision living there.

Does Home Staging Make A Difference?

Staging can certainly make a difference when selling your home. Staging your home will give the space a warm and inviting feel for buyers. A properly staged home will not only attract more buyers to visit, resulting in fewer days on the market which can positively impact the sale price.

At Century 21 Indian River Realty our goal is to help you sell your home quickly at the highest price. Our professional staff is dedicated to personal service and to lasting relationships with our clients. We are here to help you with quality real estate services in and around Melbourne, Indialantic and all of Brevard County Florida.


5 Tips for Selling Your Home Fast

5 Tips For Selling Your Home FastIf you are selling your home, chances are that you want it to sell quickly. You may already be in the process of purchasing a new home or a job transfer to another state may necessitate a fast move. Whatever the circumstances, a quick sale is usually the goal when putting your home on the market.

Here Are 5 Tips For Selling Your Home Fast

Have Realistic Expectations

If you want to sell your home fast, it’s important to have realistic expectations right from the start. If your asking price is too high, others may assume that you are unwilling to negotiate or simply aren’t serious about selling your home. It’s important to start the process on the right foot and at the right price. A licensed real estate agent can help you determine the appropriate price for your home.

Make The Most Of First Impressions

Curb appeal can make a huge difference when it comes to selling your home. From a buyer’s perspective, first impressions are everything. Make the most of this opportunity by giving potential buyers a neat, tidy home to view. The easier they can envision themselves living in the home, the more likely a sale will happen. You can freshen up your home’s curb appeal in a variety of ways, including:

  • a new mailbox
  • a coat of paint
  • a new flower garden
  • outdoor lighting
  • a new front door

You want your home to make a great first impression with prospective buyers both inside and out, so you should also consider giving the inside of your home a makeover to match the current market trends.

Show Off Your Home’s Potential

When selling your home, you want to make the most of your space. It’s a good idea to remove the clutter and personal items like knick-knacks, extra furniture, and family photos. This should also include pets. By taking these steps, you are making the space in your home seem larger and allowing prospective buyers to envision their family in the space.

Go The Extra Mile

You also want to be as flexible as possible when showing the property. Potential buyers will often want to visit the property outside of regular business hours, and usually with little notice. Be prepared for visitors at night or on the weekends. It’s generally recommended that homeowners leave during showings. This ensures potential buyers feel free to move around and discuss the home’s positives and negatives comfortably.

The Big Picture

Your home’s listing should have great photos, and plenty of them. Anyone can do snapshots, so make your home stand out in the crowd with some really great photos.

It’s also important to share with potential home buyers what the neighborhood life is like. You can include information about nearby schools, parks, restaurants, and shopping areas. The idea is to not focus on just selling your home, but selling the lifestyle.

Using these ideas will make your home selling process easier and faster. For more help with your real estate questions in Melbourne, FL or the surrounding area, contact us at C21 Indian River Realty. Our agents are here to assist you in selling your home quickly.

How to Choose the Best Melbourne, FL Real Estate Agent

house for saleChoosing the right real estate agent can sometimes be an overwhelming task, whether you’re buying or selling a home. When looking for the best Melbourne, FL realtor, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you have the best buying or selling experience possible.

Not All Real Estate Agents Are The Same

Check your state’s real estate licensing board to ensure that your agent has a current license. Make sure there are no disciplinary actions against them as well. In addition, you want to make sure your potential realtor has the proper credentials. Just as a physician or attorney might specialize in a specific area, so do realtors. Some certifications you might see include:

  • CRS – Certified Residential Specialist – this is gained by completing additional training in handling residential real estate transactions
  • ABR – Accredited Buyer’s Representative – this is gained with additional education in representing buyers in a transaction
  • SRES – Seniors Real Estate Specialist – this is gained with additional training in assisting buyers and sellers in the 50+ age range

Depending on your needs, you can look for a Melbourne, FL real estate agent with specialty training that will best suit you.

Chemistry Is Just As Important As Credentials

A realtor’s credentials shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. You want to choose someone you feel comfortable working with, as buying and selling real estate can sometimes be a lengthy process. Take the time to get to know your potential agent, and ask these important questions:

  • How many years do they have in the industry?
  • How much experience do they have serving your local area?
  • Is this their full-time job?
  • Are they actively using the internet for their listings?
  • Do they have knowledge of comparable listings in your area, including what has sold and what is currently on the market?

Experience, dedication to their clients, and use of the latest online tools and the Multiple Listing Service are all important criteria to gauge how well they will work for you as their client. As a general rule of thumb, you want to interview a number of agents before making your final decision. Beware of any red flags that you discover while searching for an agent. Ultimately, you want to choose someone with a solid market presence who is actively engaged with your best interests as their top priority.

Find Out What Century 21 Indian River Realty Can Do For You

Our number one priority is providing our clients with unparalleled customer service combined with high quality real estate services. Contact us online, or call (321) 723-4747 today to speak with a friendly professional for more information. Let’s work together to see how we can help you with all your Melbourne, FL realtor needs.